He may have died in 1642, but the good name of the heretic Galileo Galilei, has become a centre of a battle between an IT company and the EU company responsible for sticking up its new global positioning satellites.
Galileo International Technologies (GIT) has won a court battle to stop the EU from using the name for its new satellite system.
The ruling is a little strange as EADS Astrium GmbH, who were planning to use the name, are based in Europe, where Galileo lived. So he was unlikely to visit Barbados, where GIT is based, even if he really wanted a sun tan. Instead a Munich court ruled that since GIT was older, EADS would have to come up with a different name.
The Munich court also ruled EADS Astrium could not appeal, although EADS said it could still take the matter to the Germany’s highest court, the Bundesgerichtshof or Federal Court of Justice.
Legal experts said it was unlikely that the EU would change the name of such a high profile project such as the Galileo project and large amounts of cash would probably wing its way to the old GIT.
Galileo is no stranger to bizarre court rulings. He was forced to live his life under house arrest after he had to recant his scientific work after a court found him guilty of heresy.